January 2020 Research Updates

January Calendar (December/February)
This is an ongoing post of research updates during the month. Updates are provided every few days, and you can easily reach the update by clicking the link in the calendar.
1/6/20 – A new month, year, and decade

I had one hell of a trip back on Saturday. I had just come down with the flu which made my trek home a miserable one. Add on to that the two hour late Greyhound I had from Detroit (to London) I was about ready to die. Nevertheless, I made it home. Friday I submitted my revisions, and I was able to submit it under the Cassini submission (yay!). Today I got the edits back from my collaborator for my LPSC abstract. I still have the flu, so I am not that eager to finish it just yet.

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1/10/20 – Flu gone, LPSC abstract done

The flu didn’t go away until Thursday. That was a blessing since it was also the first day of lab. I finished my LPSC abstract in a flu induced daze. Most of my week was spent at home in bed resting. The first astrobiology lab went fine. The set up was annoying, as was coordinating with the professor to ensure we had all the proper items for the lab (apples, sugar, etc.).

Given the flu, I didn’t do much time management techniques. I did some work reproducing my model. I spent much of December reviewing it and the models it is based on, but I am at the point where I have to start applying it. My goal for next week is to focus on that as well as get back into the Pomodoro timer, which Catherine has suggested a much more reasonable goal which I am excited about (the reasonableness of it that is).

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1/14/20 – Astrobiology and Model Work

I’ve had a more successful couple days of 6-8 pomodoro’s. Part of me feels I ought to be doing more, but it definitely is a much more attainable goal. I’ve also found myself keeping a much more regular sleep schedule which has helped form a more structured routine. Hopefully it sticks.

I spent some time doing TA duties for Astrobiology. It is a little frustrating because Jahnavi and I have yet to get an official duties sheet from the professor. That means it is a little unclear what our responsibilities are. Obviously, I’ve done the class before, but is he expecting us to handle the course project. He’s having us receive the relevant information which suggests we are handling it, but a bit more guidance would be appreciated.

As for the model, I’ve been able to piece together how a few components are implemented. That is, it makes sense, and I can replicate it, but there is one piece that is very convoluted. It is unclear how it is making use of the governing equations. I have an idea of how I would apply them, but it isn’t what I am seeing in the code. I’m discussing this with Jacob to understand what it is he’s done, but I am also going to review a bit of finite element modeling to make sure I’m up to date with the material.

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1/17/20 – Model Progress

I still haven’t replicated the code, but after a bit of thought plus a little help from Jacob (code maker) I was able to figure out what was going on. It’s a straightforward application of the equations that set the gravity driven brine velocity, the ice fraction, and the Raleigh number used in the model. I was confused when it came to solving for temperature and salinity.

The actual solution is a bit more complicated as it uses a method in linear algebra to expedite the solution. Again, I couldn’t replicate this (as it stands), but I think that is okay?

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1/24/20 – Astrobiology lecturing and grading

This wasn’t a great week. In addition to having lab on Thursday to do and prepare for, I had grading for the previous weeks lab. That was exacerbated by having to sub-lecture for Nigel, the professor of the course, on Tuesday. It was one of those weeks where I get overwhelmed and become less productive and feel worse. I didn’t do any pamadora timers, and I think that was part of the problem. Luckily Nigel got back from his conference early and was able to lecture on Thursday, and that was a bigger relief than I realized. I was able to focus on grading the rest of the day and Friday (for a bit).

In terms of research, I did a bit of work trying to check the progress of the models I’ve been running the last few weeks as I review how it works. Obviously, it hasn’t been a major priority, but I didn’t want that time to go to waste. I am at a bit of an obstacle because I can’t get it to work for over 200 ppt (20%). I’ve been troubleshooting that because I want more data to present for LPSC in a couple months.

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1/27/20 – Paper Accepted to Icarus!

I got big news yesterday; my paper was officially accepted by Icarus! It took a year and two rounds of revisions, but it’s finally done. Thanks to the coauthors, the reviewers and Icarus.

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1/29/20 – Astrobiology and time management

I’ve had a hard start to the week as I’m not using the timer. I have a lot of grading and other astrobiology work, and I am worried I am spending too much time on that. It is just very easy to gravitate toward that, and it ends up taking up a lot of my time. I need to just restrict myself to a set number of timers a day for that because what I am doing right now is just not even bothering with the timer when working on astrobiology stuff.

I spent some time reviewing my work on the model, less review and more checking on my state of results. There isn’t much progress to show in this regard as of yet. Overall, the end of January has been very sluggish, and I am going to aim for a more productive February. I can use Pomodoro’s every day, save Thursday’s. That is my goal; use these every day with a clear outline of what I did and on what. If it’s a slow day, then it’s a long day.

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1/31/20 – LPSC Presentation and February Goals

Much to my surprise, I received a presentation at LPSC. That is equally exciting and terrifying. I did well last time, so the pressure is on to prove it was the norm and not a fluke. Obviously, I have amazing self confidence. I went ahead and started making a frame work for my presentation. I want time to thoroughly practice and review it, but I also want to make sure I have a clear idea what results I need to focus on producing for the slides.

Okay, goals for next month: 1) use timer, 2) grade/ focus on astrobiology less, 3) spend time reviewing Titan, 4) work on presentation, and 5) produce the results needed for the timer.

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2 thoughts on “January 2020 Research Updates

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